“NOT A DAY PROMISED”
October 23, 1991 – July 12, 2010
On a day not unlike any other, I received a not-so-common call from my brother-in-law around mid-morning while I was at work. I was on another call, business at that time, so I sent his call to my voice mail. Within seconds, I received another call. This time, I excused myself from the business call to answer him, and in broken sentences, almost inaudible, with incredible pain in his voice, he told me that my son, Carson, had killed himself.
The balance of that day was surreal to say the least. Within the hour, as I arrived home and gathered with my family in shock, an outpouring of love began to arrive from the church that Carson spent most of his life attending. God's custom grace was already at work, for his Word says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
Despite the incredible confusion of what had just happened that morning, the Lord distracted me with a flood of words in quick order that I openly shared with close family and friends via Facebook; an epitaph written only once through, a first sign to me and my family of clarity, pointing toward a forthcoming journey, to peer closely into the invisibility of mental illness.
We share these words, and all that is within this site, so that all who visit will have access to the powerful testimony of God's grace in a desperate time of loss, and a message of Hope-to-Cope for those struggling with any form of mental illness. May you be blessed for renewing your mind with the encouragement and truth you find here.
On that day, I wrote:
"Dear friends of Carson Chandler Brooks. Carson passed away and returned to his true home on July 12, 2010. His passing brings great sadness. He was so very young, brilliant, funny, sneaky, sometimes the playful liar, a caregiver – all wrapped up in one spectacular package.
So many tears, so much pain, so much confliction. Not for those of us left behind, but actually Carson’s struggle for many of these last years…full of life-yes, vision-yes, desire-yes, and creativity-yes…but bipolar…with great burden.
From many of you, Carson hid his struggles well, always the smile, the laugh, the jokes, always there to lift YOU up – the independence, oh my gosh, the independence…but, for a few of you, who knew him the closest, Carson never knew what the day would bring for him, as his bipolar condition stalked him almost every waking moment. What strength, endurance and stamina he had to maintain for these many years. It was just too much.
Carson took his own life this morning.
Carson was a born-again believer of Jesus Christ, since he was about 7-years old, and God knew at that time what today would bring. We did not.
To Believers of Jesus Christ:
While some of you are now conflicted in regards to a Christian taking his or her own life and questioning whether gaining eternity in heaven is possible, let me comfort you, as He has comforted me. The Bible says, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:36-39)
An unknown writer shares, “So from the divine viewpoint, we see that believers are actually a gift from the Father, to the Son. It is the Father that enables people to come to Jesus to be saved. And not only that, but of those that the Father gives Jesus, He has specifically said that He will lose NONE! Not one. Now we, with our little limited human pee-brains won't understand how all this works. We struggle to get our minds around things like divine election versus free will etc (and rightly so!) but one thing I can say without any reservation is that Jesus will not lose any believers that the Father gives Him. He will lose none, zero, zilch, zippo! But will raise them ALL up on the last day.” I couldn’t have said it better.
To Those of You Who Are Not Born-Again Believers in Jesus Christ:
Carson stepped into the hands of God the very minute life left his human body this morning. “Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8-NLT) No more illness to make him sick, or cheaters to take things from him, liars to mislead him, alcohol to slow his senses, tobacco to poison his lungs…and these things given to Carson from some of you reading this right now…and these things some of you are struggling with as well right now. But, be not misled, these sins are not too great or many, for the God my family and I serve, to forgive. He forgave Carson’s sins when he was reborn of Christ at age 7, all of them, regenerated, made new, and He can do the same for you. Besides the awesome gift of eternal life in heaven for you, there’s a bonus attached…if you give your life to Jesus Christ, YOU WILL SEE CARSON AGAIN IN ETERNITY as well!
I want you to pray these words right now to yourself. I want you to mean them in your heart. If you do, you will be born-again, your past sins, today’s sins, and any sins of the future WILL BE FORGIVEN, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that who would ever believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus is listening right now. Speak from your heart. You say, “God, I want to give my life to you. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe that you died for me, so that my sins: past, present and future, would be forgiven. By your resurrection, you conquered death, my death. I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I was told that if I cry out to you, if I call out the name Jesus, you will save me. Jesus, please take me as I am. Save me. Clean me. Heal me. Love me. I have nothing to give in return but my belief in you. I want you to take control of my life. I want you to be my King. I ask this in your Holy name, Jesus, Amen.”
If you prayed these words in your heart, and meant them, you are now a born-again Christian. By praying these words to Jesus, He has seen your faith in Him and given you His gift of eternal life. It is your faith in Jesus that has just saved you, not the words you said, but that Jesus heard you say them to Him.
There’s nothing else to do except tell someone! “Somebody call somebody!” Tell everyone! Come to church this weekend. Come to Fellowship Church in Grapevine, The Village in Lewisville, or any Bible-believing church wherever you live. If you know a Christian, be sure to tell them. They are now your brother or sister in Christ. We’re all adopted into His family now, never to be discarded, never to be denied eternal life with Him, never to be shunned by the Creator, never ever to be separated again from the One who first loved us. Tell the people at the Church you attend that you just gave your life to Christ and you want to learn more about Jesus. You want to know Him more. They will welcome you as new family. You’ll want to be baptized, a demonstration by you that the old you is gone, the new you is born.
By the way, the day you give your life to Jesus is a new birth date. Throw a birthday party. Your life is going to change as God begins to work through his Spirit that now lives in you. And, if you die tomorrow, you will be with Christ for all eternity. AND, you will see Carson.(If you get to heaven before my family and me, please tell Carson that we love him and that we are proud of him and can’t wait to see him again.)
Sometime this week, our family will be holding a Celebrate Carson Service. We will post information as soon as a permanent time and date have been set. In lieu of flowers, we are in the process of creating a memorial fund to be donated towards some organization yet to be determined."
Todd Brooks (Carson's Dad)
July 12, 2010